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Trout fishing season opens April 7

Catch-and-release fly fishing season opens March 24 at select sites

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (March 12, 2018) – The 2018 Illinois Spring trout fishing season is just a few weeks away. Anglers will need both a fishing license and an Inland Trout Stamp to participate, unless they are under the age of 16, blind, disabled, or an Illinois resident on leave from active duty in the Armed Forces.

Licenses and trout stamps are available for purchase on the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) website and at DNR Direct license and permit locations, including many bait shops, sporting goods stores, and other retail outlets.

The Spring Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing season opens at nine sites on March 24. Anglers can use fly fishing gear to catch trout at that time, but they cannot keep the fish. All trout must be released until after the opening of the regular spring trout season, which begins at 5:00am on April 7. Anyone attempting to take trout before the legal harvest season opening will be issued citations.

The IDNR stocks more than 80,000 rainbow trout each year, with 54 ponds, lakes, and streams throughout the state being stocked for the spring season, and an additional 80,000 trout stocked for the fall season.

For more information on trout seasons and other Illinois fishing opportunities, check the website at

For more information about all site regulations, anglers should contact individual sites that will be stocked with catchable-size trout. Not all sites open at 5:00am on opening day. Anglers are reminded to check the opening time of their favorite sites prior to the opening date.

The 54 locations that will be open for spring trout season are listed below.

2018 Illinois Spring Trout Locations

(** Denotes sites open for catch-and-release fly fishing-only early season)

  • Boone County — Mill Race Ponds, Belvidere
  • Bureau County — Hennepin Canal Parkway
  • Cook County — Wolf Lake at William W. Powers State Recreation Area, Chicago
  • Cook County — Green Lake in Calumet City, Cook County Forest Preserve District
  • Cook County — Axehead Lake, Cook County Forest Preserve District
  • Cook County — Belleau Lake, Cook County Forest Preserve District
  • Cook County — Sag Quarry East, Cook County Forest Preserve District
  • Cook County — Horsetail Lake, Cook County Forest Preserve District
  • DuPage County — Silver Lake, DuPage County Forest Preserve District
  • DuPage County — Pickerel Lake, DuPage County Forest Preserve District
  • DuPage County— Grove Lake, DuPage County Forest Preserve District
  • Jo Daviess County — Apple River, Apple River State Park **
  • Kankakee County — Bird Park Quarry, Kankakee
  • Kankakee County — Rock Creek, Kankakee River State Park **
  • Kendall County — Big Lake, Silver Springs State Fish and Wildlife Area
  • Lake County — Banana Lake, Lake County Forest Preserve District
  • Lake County — Sand Lake, Illinois Beach State Park
  • LaSalle County — Illinois and Michigan Canal, LaSalle
  • LaSalle County — Lake Mendota, Village of Mendota
  • McHenry County — Lake Atwood, McHenry County Conservation District
  • McHenry County — Piscasaw Creek, McHenry County Conservation District
  • Ogle County — Pine Creek, White Pines Forest State Park **
  • Rock Island County— Prospect Park, Moline
  • Stephenson — Waddams Creek, Lake Le-Aqua-Na State Recreation Area
  • Stephenson — Yellow Creek in Krape Park, Freeport
  • Whiteside County — Centennial Park Pond, Rock Falls
  • Will County — Lake Milliken, Des Plaines Conservation Area
  • Winnebago County — Four Lakes, Winnebago County Forest Preserve District


  • Adams County — Siloam Springs State Park Lake **
  • Cass County — Gridley Lake, Jim Edgar Panther Creek SFWA **
  • Champaign County — Lake of the Woods, Champaign Co. Forest Preserve Dist.
  • Christian County — Manners Park Pond, Taylorville Park District
  • Coles County — Eastern Illinois University Campus Pond, Charleston
  • Hancock County — Horton Lake, Nauvoo State Park **
  • Macon County — Sportsman’s Club Pond, Macon County Conservation District
  • McLean County — Miller Park Lake, Bloomington
  • Morgan County — Morgan Lake at Nichols Park, Jacksonville **
  • Moultrie County — Wyman Lake, Sullivan
  • Pike County — Kings Park Pond, Pittsfield
  • Sangamon County — Southwind Park, Springfield
  • Sangamon County — IDOT Lake, Springfield **
  • Sangamon County — Washington Park Pond, Springfield
  • Shelby County — Forest Park Lagoon, Shelbyville
  • Vermilion County — Clear Lake, Kickapoo State Recreation Area


  • Jefferson County — Mount Vernon Game Farm Pond
  • Johnson County — Ferne Clyffe State Park Lake
  • Marion County — Boston Pond, Stephen A. Forbes State Recreation Area
  • Massac County — Fairgrounds Pond, Fort Massac State Park
  • Randolph County — Derby Lake, Sparta (World Shooting and Recreational Complex)
  • St. Clair County — Frank Holten State Park Main Lake
  • St. Clair County — Jones Park Lake, East St. Louis
  • St. Claire County — Willow Lake at Peabody River King State Fish and Wildlife Area **
  • Wabash County — Beall Woods Lake, Beall Woods State Park
  • Wayne County — Sam Dale Trout Pond, Sam Dale Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area


The Lansing Journal
The Lansing Journal
The Lansing Journal publishes news releases from state, county, and local officials who provide information that impacts local community life. The particular contributor of each post is indicated in the byline.